Talk:Where or When

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An infobox was requested for the 1960 Dion & the Belmonts version of "Where or When" at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Missing_encyclopedic_articles/List_of_notable_songs/14.

Misunderstanding of déjà vu[edit]

I added a citation needed to this section, because I don't think that changing the lyrics to "things that happened for the first time" indicates a misunderstanding of the concept at all. Changing the lyrics to the past tense is just a re-wording of the same idea. Déjà vu is, as WP defines it, "the experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation"; changing the lyrics is like saying, "I'm sure that these things, happening right now, have already happened previously for the first time, but I can't remember where or when", and is, IMO, no indication that the performer has misunderstood (if anything, the changed lyrics are a clearer refence to déjà vu than the original present tense); to claim such is speculation, and so, I think, requires a citation needed template. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.81.122.30 (talk) 15:08, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

It is true that déjà vu is "the experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation". But it a false feeling. In déjà vu, there is no past tense; the experience is all in the present. For example, a person visits China for the first time and when seeing the Great Wall feels that they have been there before. But it is a false feeling and they know it is a false feeling, because they know they have never been in China before. By definition, déjà vu is not the feeling of familiarity in a situation or place where you have been before, such as your childhood home or neighborhood. The previous paragraph by 213.81.122.30 is exactly the kind of misunderstanding had by people who have never experienced déjà vu. The words of the song "Some things that happen for the first time" mean things that happen for the first time now, but falsely seem to be happening again. Those who change the lyrics to the past tense, misunderstand déjà vu.

Probably 80% of the people on this earth believe in reincarnation. Also there is no way of knowing how many times we live our current lives. Being intellectually stuck and mired in western materialism, like Wikipedia in general, there is no other conceivable mode of thought or experience. It's pathetic really, to positively claim that the deja vu experience is false since existence in its entirety is probably an illusion and western materialism offers the human spirit nothing but the abject denial of enlightening experiences like the deja vu. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Missaeagle (talkcontribs) 08:31, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

In Alan Brown's book (cited in main article) on page 1 is the following example of déjà vu:
"We visited a discotheque in Downtown Disney, and we were dancing with two girls from Brazil. Neither one of us had been there before, or had met the girls before. However, when a song played I felt as if I had lived the moment before. I couldn't remember exactly when or where." Greensburger (talk) 17:46, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Greensburger, I am talking about the interpretation of the lyrics when changed to the past tense. I interpret the past tense version to be saying, "(it's like) these things have happened for the first time". It's not saying they have happened, it's saying it feels like they have. The déjà vu is implied in the changed lyrics. It's like when you have a flash of déjà vu, and you say, "We've had this conversation before, haven't we?" even though you never actually did have that conversation before. You don't say, "I know logically we have never had this conversation before, but damn, it sure feels like we have".
To assume that the changed lyrics are a definite misunderstanding of déjà vu is speculation. Putting a definition of déjà vu doesn't prove the statement that the changed lyrics equal a misunderstanding, because it is not relevant. What déjà vu is or feels like is not in question. It's been established. Déjà vu is when you feel certain that what you are experiencing has happened before, even though it never actually has happened before. The past tense is just another way of expressing the feeling that one has when one experiences déjà vu. The past tense, to me, says "I feel sure these things have happened before"; it is very common in déjà vu to insist that what you are experiencing has happened before, and the past tense simply reflects this aspect of the experience. It is not saying they have happened before, in reality, at some point in the past (the rest of the lyrics prove that it is not saying this). It is not talking about nostalgiac feelings, as you describe above in your "false déjà vu" example. It is taking the experience of déjà vu further, making it more vivid -- describing how déjà vu makes you feel like what you are experiencing has happened before, even though you can't remember where or when (because it never actually did happen before).
I personally find that the past tense works much better with the rest of the song: the entire song implies déjà vu (It seems we stood and talked like this before...But I can't remember where or when); the past tense is just strengthening the surrealness of that feeling by saying, "(I'm sure) that these things have happened for the first time, and now they seem to be happening again".
Also, this isn't really relevant, but I have experienced déjà vu before. I spent about 13 months experiencing it on a near-daily basis. Things happened to me for the first time, and I felt sure they had already happened to me before. I might very well have said to the people around me, "These things have happened already for the first time, haven't they? And now they're happening again." Even though they never, ever had. 213.81.122.30 (talk) 23:33, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
When you say "...the past tense is just strengthening the surrealness of that feeling...when you feel certain that what you are experiencing has happened before, even though it never actually has happened before" - you and I both understand déjà vu and we do not misunderstand the lyrics as Hart wrote them. But people who have never experienced déjà vu need a little help understanding them. Using the past tense leads them to misunderstanding. The analysis is to get beginners to understand déjà vu so they will understand the lyrics. The slightest suggestion that the lyrics refer to a past event destroys that. Which is why I make a clear distinction between what is happening in the present and what did not happen in the past, nomatter how strong the false feeling of certainty is. Greensburger (talk) 03:27, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

I have heard this song many times, and it never occurred to me the word was "happened". That would not only change the meaning, it would not correctly express any meaning. It would be wrong to change tenses between the first phrase and the second; it's got to be either "happen" and "seem" or "happened" and "seemed". Since this is about an ongoing phenomenon, it must be the present tense. Vzeebjtf (talk) 14:48, 21 April 2013 (UTC) If the meaning were "Some things that happened seem to be happening again," "for the first time" would be irrelevant. In Hart's line, "for the first time" means they did not happen. Vzeebjtf (talk) 20:24, 22 April 2013 (UTC) in the past.

weird wording/idea[edit]

"Those who have not experienced déjà vu often misunderstand the words..."

people's having or not having experienced déjà vu is unrelated to their mis-hearing or misunderstanding the lyrics. i've experienced d.v. a thousand times and always thought it was "happened". better to say that the lyrics in question are sometimes mis-heard/misundertood as being/meaning, but...etc, etc. 63.142.146.194 (talk) 04:16, 13 May 2012 (UTC)